Barnes & Noble (BKS) shares surged Friday after the struggling bookstore chain agreed to a $683 million sale to private equity group Elliott Advisors UK.
Barnes & Noble said the all-cash deal, which values the bookseller at $6.50 per share, follows a strategic review that explored options for the company and was unanimously approved by the company's board. Waterstone's, a bookstore chain run by Elliot, will send CEO James Daunt to run the combined group, although both chains will continue to operate separately. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, Elliott said.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Elliott, the owner of Waterstones, a bookseller I have admired over the years," said chairman Leonard Riggio. "In view of the success they have had in the bookselling marketplace, I believe they are uniquely suited to improve and grow our company for many years ahead."
"Having been the leader of Barnes & Noble for 54 years, I have had the privilege of working with the very best people in all the world of bookselling, including our great store managers and booksellers, who work in our stores," he added. "It is they who have made Barnes & Noble the #1 most reputable retailer in America. My profound thanks, as well, to the entire publishing world, with whom we have shared a great relationship over the years, and the many suppliers who have provided vital services."
Barnes & Noble shares were marked 10.7% higher Friday following confirmation of the deal to change hands at $6.60 each, more than double the level the shares traded at the start of the week.